Rakuten Shopping Portal Issues
The Rakuten (formerly Ebates) portal and I go back a long way. I have been using it since my early days of internet shopping and have always found the company to be great to deal with. Even with the changeover to the new name I find the portal works the same and many times offers great promotions, including the ability to earn Membership Rewards points.
My Recent Rakuten Shopping Portal Issues – Category Payouts
There is one area I keep running into issues though and that has made me consider not using them in certain scenarios. From time to time Rakuten will run variable cash back amounts for specific stores.
Here is an example of what Walmart cash back looks like as of the time of this writing:
- Arts, Crafts, Cricut & Sewing 1.0%
- Auto 1.0%
- Baby 1.0%
- Baby Activities & Gear 1.0%
- Beauty 1.0%
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories 5.0%
- Electronics 1.0%
- Furniture, Bed, and Bath 1.0%
- Home Improvement & Tools 1.0%
- Jewelry & Watches 5.0%
- Kitchen Appliances, Dining, and Vacuums 5.0%
- Nursery & Decor 1.0%
- Office & School 1.0%
- Outdoor & Camping 1.0%
- Personal Care 1.0%
- Pet Supplies 1.0%
- Photo Center 5.0%
- Sports & Fitness 2.0%
- Toys 1.0%
These category payouts change all of the time when Walmart and Rakuten want to promote specific sales, etc. For example, the other day Rakuten paid out 10% (10X Membership Rewards) on purchase in the ‘Toys’ category. So I bought some toys!
Rakuten Shopping Portal Issues – Category Tracking Doesn’t Work
Unfortunately it seems Rakuten often doesn’t track the product category correctly. I have had this happen enough times now that I want to call them out. Here is my purchase of toys from Walmart the other day when the toys category payout was 10%.
As you can see I was just paid the standard 1% instead of the 10% bonus I am due. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. It is frustrating since the purchase is tracking correctly, however Rakuten is forcing me to not only ensure everything is correct but then to contact them to fix it.
The Rakuten Missing Cashback Form
In order to get an issue like this resolved you must fill out the Missing Cashback form on Rakuten. The form has an automated system that looks through your clicks, etc. but eventually you can fill out everything and get it in front of a human being. Sometimes for smaller purchases they’ll just give you the cash back, however on larger ones they’ll ask for proof.
I have had to get my cashback amounts for category specific purchases fixed several times now and have always had to provide the order confirmation showing what I bought. With the order tracking this shouldn’t be necessary in my opinion, since Rakuten and Walmart should have a way to figure out which category you purchased in if they are going to offer category specific rates.
My Rakuten Portal Plan Going Forward
As I have mentioned before when talking about my shopping portal strategy, I tend to go to the portal that is paying the best. That means I will continue to use Rakuten when the payout is great, however I now am much more diligent about following up almost immediately on category specific purchases to make sure they earn correctly. In this scenario doing nothing would lose me 4,869 Membership Rewards points.
Rakuten Shopping Portal Issues – Bottom Line
I am a big fan of Rakuten and will continue to use them and recommend them. Truthfully you should always be paying extra close attention and auditing your portal payouts anyway, but with Rakuten and category specific payouts be extra careful. Their customer service is generally good and they generally fix the problem quickly, however there shouldn’t be a problem. Fix these Rakuten shopping portal issues please! 🙂